Monday, August 22, 2016

Let my life be the proof

While out at lunch the other day I had to pull the car over for a rather long funeral procession. As the police motorcycles, hearse and other cars streamed by the King and Country song “Let my life be the proof of your love.”

Let my life be the proof,
The proof of Your love
Let my love look like You and what You’re made of
How You lived, how You died
Live is sacrificed
So let my life be the proof
The proof of Your love

Some pretty serious words to ponder sitting there in my car at lunch on Monday. I have no idea who was in the hearse or what kind of life that person may have led. Just judging by the number of cars in the procession this was a person of great impact.

 As I waited, I thought a lot about my life. Is it proof? Do others know through my actions what I feel in my heart and say in my head? When the end of my journey comes will I leave any legacy?

Here is the good news. My ride this Monday was far different from the person in the hearse as I was upright and heading into a new week. The procession turned into a motivational Monday moment with a simple reminder that life is too short to be complacent.

Each day is a new chance to make a difference. As long as you are alive you can be a difference maker and be the proof.


What a good reminder to start the week. 


Friday, June 10, 2016

Does following your passion lead to suckatude?

“Just because you are passionate about something doesn’t mean you won’t suck at it” Mike Rowe

I grew up with a passion for music.  My greatest thrill as a youth were the times when I was performing as part of the high school choir, show choir, or the marching band. What an amazing feeling to be in front of hundreds of people and to relish in the accolades of their feedback at the end of each performance. As a senior, my peers were even so kind to vote me as “best male singer”.  

There was only one problem. I actually kind of sucked.

In spite of my great passion for music and my strong desire to be good with an instrument or an amazing singer I did not possess any innate ability to be any good. I have a terrible voice, poor rhythm and a lack of psychomotor skills. Heck, even after four years in the high school band I was never able to fully memorize and play the school fight song. Now that is bad.

Had I followed this passion for music without a realization of my actual ability I surely would have failed.

This is one reason I am such a fan of Mike Rowe’s advice on this video. It is okay to have passion and to follow your dreams. The real key when it comes to our careers is to align passion and dreams with our abilities.



There are people that discover this secret early in life and go on to find fulfillment through an easy path.  For many people however the juncture between ability, passion and dreams happen only after years of trial. For many others, this critical path to fulfillment is never realized due to too much time wasted following the passions and dreams dictated by our societal norms while ignoring their natural gifts.

It has been my observation that to be a real success and experience happiness, we must find what we are good at doing and then become the best we can at doing it.  

I agree with Mike. Find your talent and then your dreams as well as your passion will come.

What do you think?


Oh and by the way, if you happen to find yourself standing near me at church during the time everyone is singing. My apologies in advance. 

Friday, May 20, 2016

An open letter to my state Senator Greg Treat and House Rep Kevin Calvey. District 47/82

Dear Senator Treat and Representative Calvey,

I am a lifelong resident of Oklahoma and a 20 + year resident of your district. My wife as well as my son are graduates of PC North and my son is a current student at OU majoring in engineering. 

I am proud to be part of this community.

At the same time I am deeply saddened for my state due to the apparent ineptitude and lack of courage from our state legislature. It seems there is far more energy spent debating irrelevant issues as opposed to fixing the many real problems we have. 

The facts speak for themselves as we lead the nation in the top 10 in several negative categories including teen pregnancyobesitydivorcesmokingleast fit,least education funding, and on and on. Pretty much look up any statistic that ranks a state negatively and you will find Oklahoma right at the top.  

Lately is seems each day we are the news for legislation that hurts the poor or legislation with intent to create costly lawsuits we cannot afford. 

Never does it seem we hear about our elected legislators coming together to make the hard decisions that are necessary for the state and for our people to not only survive the current state economic and social crisis but to step forward with a positive future.

Unmovable ideology and pandering to the lobbying check writers will not push this state forward. Only true courage to make hard decisions that protect those among us that are the least protected, provide quality education and a revenue stream that ensures balanced economic strength will save us. 

Senator Treat and Representative Calvey this is a time when leaders can rise. The greatest crisis can lead to greatest opportunity to really make a difference. Will that be you?  

I hope that it will and that you and your peers can stop frivolity and instead will do what great leaders through history have always done by putting politics aside and placing the real needs of the people as the priority. 

Failure to do so will only keep us on the road to continued disaster. Senator Treat-Representative Calvey, you are either part of the problem or part of the solution. Now is the time to make that choice and I for all our sake I hope you make the right one. 

Sincerely 


David Copeland




Friday, January 15, 2016

Transitioning to the Empty Nest

Our first empty nest trip together
2015 was a big year for us as it was the year our son graduated from high school and moved on to college leaving us as empty nesters. 

As the time approached my mind was filled with thoughts  about how our life and potentially our relationship would change. Our only child household had in many ways been centered on the life of our son with activities and the joy of having his friends around.

There are a lot of marriages that are held together by having the child in the middle. That is a great danger if not handled with care which can lead to couples falling apart after the children have gone. On the other side, there are marriages that post children move into a new season that is full of richness and of new adventure together. It can be the beginning of the best of times together as a couple. 

Six months into our empty nest life and our fear of the change has gradually abated. We have grown new relationship habits and continue to look forward to the future while not dwelling in the past. Life is indeed good and just getting better together all the time. 

Here are some key tips that have made the transition work for us.

Have your own life

A lot of couples are so centered on their children that once they are gone they a left with no identity of their own. They have no friends or hobbies or activities that did not center around the child. Key here is to start the transition in the years prior to the child leaving by taking stock in your current life what considering what life will be like once the kids are gone. Trust me that this is not hard since the last couple of years of high school are a blur especially after the driver’s license.

This is a time so encourage the child to do more on their own so they can be prepared for life away from home. Everything from doing their laundry, having a part time job, cooking, budgeting and being away without your guidance is good. The bonus is that you can use this time as a couple to do more together and plan for your future.

Communicate

This can be especially hard for us guys. Fellas you might find this hard to believe but your wife may not be feeling worse or better than you about the change. You will not know how she really feels unless you take some time to ask and just listen. The greatest gift you can give your wife during this transition is to just be present and allow her process her feelings about the change on her own schedule and in her own way. Asking and listening will ensure she knows you support and love her. 

Have a plan

There is nothing more energizing than having a plan for the future. It is the best tool for forward motivation because life is way better when excited about something you are going to do or have in the future. If you have never sat down as a couple and created a written plan for your future now it the time to do it. We broke our plan into categories including places to go, things to do, stuff to buy and financing our future. Make sure to have short term as well as long term goals and things that are big dreams as well as things that are simple possibilities.

Get back to basics

Men this is a time for sure to take stock in yourself and your efforts in the relationship. Perhaps you have been a little lax with being a partner around the house. It might be time to pick up some more responsibility with things as simple as grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning.

Show your wife through your actions and words that you think she is more beautiful and more wonderful than even in the early days of your relationship. Make effort to praise her and to tell her how much you are looking forward to spending the rest of your life with her. It is okay if your life with kids made you strangers to each other. Perhaps it is just time to “date” again and experience the excitement of new beginnings with your spouse.


Yes the transition to the empty nest is a big change but with just a little work and a positive outlook it can be the start of your greatest season yet. 


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

How to make your goals happen in 2016

Yes 2016 is here and it is time once again to reflect on the year that was and plan for the year can be. For years I have taken time to write down my goals and think about what I can do differently and what I can do the same to ensure the coming months go well.

There is always a lot of excitement about the start of the New Year. I have read that somewhere between 40 to 50 percent of people set resolutions or goals. I have also read that as many as 80 percent of people break at least one resolution within the first five days after setting them. Pretty sad huh?

I have been there too and have at times found myself not following through with my goals and soon I am angrier and disappointed at myself more then I was before making them.

One goal I have is to ride the bike 2,000 Miles in 2016
It is this feeling of repeated failure after not achieving that I think prevents many people from bothering to even try to have goals. After all, what is the point if you know you will fail again and not follow through?

I may be naïve but I truly believe there is always hope to strive to be better and to get started no matter how many times in the past you have tried and not succeeded. Perhaps these were just lesson on what not to do the next time. The mere fact that there are people that do change and do have success shows that it can be done.

So how do we make sure the goals happen?

Write them down! Just saying you have goal is not enough. You need a battle plan to succeed with very specific details. This should include very small success milestones that will allow you to celebrate along the way.

Want to lose 30 pounds? Great set that as a goal then add details around the healthy eating steps you will take. Instead of focusing on the big number make it small and think big picture. What if the goal instead were to lose 2 pounds? Sounds way better huh?

Share with others! There is no doubt that peer pressure and support from people that care about you will make a difference. Just be sure and share with true accountability people that will call you out in a loving way when you need a push to move forward.

Don’t give up! “Successful people consistently do what others will not” This is one of my all-time favorite quotes and my motivation theme for 2016.

Others will quit after their first failure. You will not!

Others will start each day expecting defeat. You will not!

The key word here is consistently since consistency lead to habits and habits lead to change that becomes so natural soon you will not give it a thought.


I believe 2016 can be a break out year for me and for you. Set your goals, share them and then get to work. We can do this! 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

On twenty years of marriage

Twenty years ago last week Michelle and I started the amazing journey of marriage together. Just a few years prior to that grand day we had met on a blind date through a mutual friend. Now many years later we are at a beginning again of sorts as we are stepping into life together as empty nesters since our only child has now moved off to college. It is very appropriate in a way to have this anniversary and the transition to a new life together in the same year.

These many years have been amazing and full of adventures, joy, heartache, togetherness, challenges learning and most of all love.

I can remember clearly in the years leading prior to meeting Michelle wondering if I would ever meet someone that I would marry and spend the rest of my life with. There were times when I thought it would never happen. That simple blind date led me to a person that I had been praying and hoping for all my life. 

I relish my time with Michelle. She is the perfect spouse, mother and friend. She believes in me when I am at my end. She loves me in the good times and in the bad times. She smiles on, laughs and stays positive when others would turn the other way and give up.


I read the other day that 41% of all 1st marriages end in divorce and to me that is tragic. Marry the right person to start and then stick together as partners no matter what life will throw at you. The key is having faith in God and faith in each other. With these two things combined the result is always a win in the end.